The War In The Middle East

…remains undeclared.

We haven’t declared war on anyone in almost eight decades, but we’ve been in almost continual fights, and lost thousands of troops. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a voting issue for Congress. As Stephen Green says, the main two terrible things we did after 911, were the authorization of military force, and the Patriot Act. And it seems that Westphalia is dead.

[Update a few minutes later]

An interesting take on what’s going on in Syria.

It will be ironic if the Kurds finally end up with a homeland after all this.

A Gold Asteroid

Will it make us rich?

Dennis Wingo responds:

Yes, it’s impossible to predict the effects of drops in the price of previously-rare commodities. Gold is a very useful industrial metal, and this would expand its usage.

California’s Planned Blackouts

Jim Meigs explains.

I just read that they’re cutting power to the Berkeley campus, which could be a disaster for researchers who need to keep things in the fridge, if they don’t have backup generators.

And you know what isn’t the problem? Climate change. Or at least not anthropogenic climate change. Drought is the natural state of affairs for the place. The 20th century was unusually wet, and a lot of policy decisions were made on the assumption that this was a normal state of affairs.

We’re on So Cal Edison, not PG&E, but we’ve heard that SCE might be planning the same thing. Unclear if we’ll be affected if they do.

[Update Saturday morning]

Californians learn that solar panels don’t work during power blackouts. More policy idiocy, and they’re compounding it by requiring every new home to have them. I can’t believe the state I’ve lived in for four decades, with such an innovative history, has become so effing stupid.

[Bumped]

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!